Ministry of Forests - Research Branch

Welcome to BECWeb

This is the web portal for the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) and Ecology Research  program of the British Columbia.

This website is the source for information about the BEC system and access point for current and historical reports, maps, software, and other products of the program.


Regional BEC updates can be found on the Current Projects page.

These documents outline recent and anticipated changes to biogeoclimatic mapping and site classifications.

Version 10 of the Biogeoclimatic Subzone/Variant (BGC) Mapping will be released (September 2016). Version 10 includes mapping changes implemented for the LMH70 field guide for the south-central Columbia Mountains and the Temporary Supplement to LMH 70 for the Boundary-Okanagan (see below). Changes to mapping apply to areas throughout the Kootenay-Boundary Region and the Okanagan-Shuswap District.

Some New Reports for 2012 - 2017

 LMH#70 A Field Guide to Ecosystem Classification and Identification for SE British Columbia - Volume 1: South-Central Columbia Mountains

This field guide presents an updated and expanded site classification for the South-central area of the southern interior area, British Columbia.

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A Temporary Supplement to LMH#70 for 4 Biogeoclimatic Units in the Boundary-Okanagan This web-based document provides biogeoclimatic information and site classification for four subzone/variants (revisions to ESSFdc1 plus introduction of three new units: ICHdw4, ICHmw5, ESSFmh). Content will be published in a subsequent field guide in 2017 but can be applied to management activities as of September 2016.

LMH#68 A Field Guide to Ecosystem Classification and Identification for Haida Gwaii

This field guide presents a new and expanded site classification for Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), British Columbia.

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LMH#39 Third Supplemental to A Field Guide to Forest Site Identification and Interpretation for the Cariboo Forest Region.

This fieldguide insert presents new site classifications for forested and non-forested ecosystems of the BGxh3, BGxw2, and IDFxm biogeoclimatic units of the Cariboo Region.

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TR#080 Natural Distubance Bibliography for British Columbia

This bibliography consists of journal articles, reports, conference papers, and theses that address natural disturbance regimes in British Columbia. The emphasis is on wildfire, but wind, insects, and diseases are also included to some extent. The entries are organized by biogeoclimatic zone, and where more than one zone is addressed by an entry it is repeated for each zone.

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Development of a Climate Change Index of Stress Using Future Projected BEC: Proof of Concept for the Nadina TSA

This study investigated methods of using 1) community similarity between current and projected future plant communities as an indicator of ecosystem stress due to climate change, and 2) geographic distance to climatically-suited species as an indicator of potential recovery. We analysed potential shifts in plant communities under three climate-change scenarios in the Nadina Forest District in Central BC.

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Extension Note 106 New coding schemes for BEC site units.

This extension note outlines a new standard coding system for site series introduced or revised after March 31, 2010. In addition, coding systems for site units representing non-forested ecosystems and for immature (seral) ecosystems are presented.

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Brochure 89 BEC and climate change

Climate change is one of the most important issues facing resource managers planning for the future. Predicted changes in climate may significantly impact the distribution and productivity of plants, animals, and ecosystems. So how will the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC), where vegetation is a central feature in defining ecosystems, remain useful in this changing environment?

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BC JEM Article - Corroboration of BEC climate zonation by spatially modelled climate data

The BEC method for distinguishing areas of homogeneous macroclimate has been used in British Columbia for over 20 years. Because of the paucity of
actual long-term climate data, the method used other means to map climate. We tested how well the BEC
climate units discriminate from one another using new, spatially modelled climate data.